Friday, 4 March 2011

The Witch Report

"There are male witches too, you know"
"No, it's true I tell you !"
(copyright Benny Hill 1968 - when will we see his like again?)

Wednesday saw me stravaiging round a favourite little corner where Sheriffmuir kind of melds into the Ochils.
Another walking from the house job with the usual warm-up section through the Mine Woods to the reservoir.. Here I stopped for lunch.

My humble repast

Since I started reading Danny's excellent blog, I now feel completely inadequate in the catering department.

I then walked over to the Heilandmans Well

Not much to see, but it was a favourite place for cattle drovers to water their beasts on the way down to Stirling Bridge and on to Falkirk Tryst.It was also known as the Fairy Well. Now. I'm not saying that there is anything supernatural about the place, but I did see this the last time I was here.

They then set off up the Dumyat path !

On this occasion I took the lower path through this rocky defile

Schoolboys of all ages will recognise this as an ideal place to ambush your mates during games of gay livestock welfare consultants and native Americans, or equal partners in a European political and economic union, or whatever they have to call them these days.

Further along you come to some ruins. At first glance it might look like a an old farm cottage abandoned  during the depopulation of the glens, but this is actually the remains of a mediaeval homestead settlement. The obligatory rowan tree (to keep away the witches!) has been dramatically blasted by lightning.
Do you ever sit in these places, halfclose your eyes, and try to imagine the family living there.- the dramas, the happy times, the crises ? No? Of course, I forgot.- there's probably something good on the i-Pod, and you've another 18 miles to do to make today's target.. Whatever,

Here I turned down into another magic place, Yellowcraig Wood. Privately owned but with unlimited public access. A lot of woodland management is going on without losing the character of the place.How many life forms can you spot in the pic ?

The path goes through a rhododendron tunnel

Carlie, or Witches Craig. According tto local tradition witches were hurled to their death from the top.This is, of course nonsense and suggest that 16 century Scotland was a primitive superstitious, barbaric society.(Plus ca change,eh?). In fact witches were transported to Edinburgh, tortured until they "confessed", tried and then strangled and burnt at the stake.

The religious centre for the area was Logie Kirk.

The Old Kirk is being restored, and for elfin safety reasons, the entire kirkyard is closed to the public ! So I can't show you the 11th century hog back gravestones.

I never had this sort of support organisation when i was restoring covenanters gravestones !

So, I whistled on past and returned home via the coffin road again. Not, perhaps a walk you would want to do on a dark night.

A late added wee bonus for Scott.


  1. ''gay livestock welfare consultants'' oh you are a cad. N'er let it be said that Scotlandshire is the home of the recalcitrant! But anyway, looks like a nice walk around a really interesting part of the world, sir.

    Glad to see yr getting out and about a bit more, look after yersef

  2. Never realised there was so much to see there! Given I was up Dumyat a few weeks ago this looks like a chance missed. Will have to nip back and explore.